Santa Rosa has had problems with graffiti taggers recently, and the Police Property Crimes Unit has been working hard to identify and arrest the culprits. Ariel Suarez-Godinez and Daat Kraus are just two of the more noteworthy arrests they have made over the past year following investigations into the vandalism artists, who often use a similar signature or image in their “public works”.
The Santa Rosa police announced another arrest after a year-long investigation into a tagger using the word “ASK” in his vandalism. They counted at least 438 instances of graffiti they attribute to this vandal – some elaborate and multi-colored, some simpler with a single spray can. The sprayed images have appeared not only throughout Santa Rosa, but in other Sonoma County and Bay Area locations. Total damages have been estimated at at least $17,000 in the past year alone.
Their investigation led them to Richard James Price, a 32-year-old resident of nearby Rohnert Park. On Monday, January 5, he was contacted at his home with a search warrant, and further evidence of his prolific vandalism was found. He was booked at the Sonoma County Jail on two counts of felony vandalism, and the police are working with the District Attorney’s office to add 398 more counts of misdemeanor vandalism to the indictment.
Records show that Price has been in trouble with the law before, but not for vandalism. In 2013 he was twice arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and drugs without a prescription. In March of 2014 he was picked up three times – by Rohnert Park police for possession of a controlled substance and probation violation, by Santa Rosa police for possession of stolen property, and by the Sonoma Sheriffs for possessing drugs without a prescription and disobeying a court order. At that time, he described his occupation as “tin bender”, though his Facebook profile states he owns Speech Impediment Entertainment, a hip hop recording label doing mixing, mastering, CD duplication, graffic design, album covers, etc.
Anyone with information about this case, or who can offer help identifying other Santa Rosa graffiti artists are encouraged to call 707-543-3575, and may remain anonymous.